Photo: The Coptic Museum, dated to the 6th or 7th century, the external rim of this famous niche features a slightly protruding frame and two adjoining colonettes with simplified capitals. In the upper section Christ is enthroned in a mandorla (enclosed in an oval) carried on wheels with flames thrashing at its base. At the sides of the mandorla are the heads of the four creatures of the apocalypse that are also associated with the four evangelists: the eagle (St. John), ox (St. Luke), lion (St. Marc), and man (St. Matthew). The archangel Michael stands on the left while, Gabriel on the right. In the lower section the enthroned Holy Virgin, holding the infant Jesus, is flanked by the twelve apostles and two local saints.

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